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Published on July 30th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson

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WSJ: Walmart decision on its own streaming service expected by “early fall”

U.S. retail giant Walmart has hired veteran television executive Mark Greenberg as a consultant to explore starting its own subscription streaming service with a final decision expected by late summer or early fall, according to sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.

WSJ reports (subscription required) planning is still in the early stages and Walmart hasn’t given the project a final approval. Sources report the potential service could include a lower-price monthly subscription than those offered by Amazon and Netflix, two of many that could be seen as rivals to a Walmart service.

Walmart is considering programs that target consumers who live outside of large cities, said two of the unidentified sources.

Greenberg has extensive experience in the television industry having helped found Epix and who has been part of various projects at Showtime and HBO.

If the service becomes reality, it would not be part of the online movie-streaming service Vudu which Walmart bought in 2010. Vudu, which allows users to buy or rent individual films, is widely available on televisions and streaming devices such as Apple TV. 

Sources say Walmart could license only existing content – like television shows and movies – from original producers but is considering its options in creating its own original content as Netflix, Hulu and HBO have done.

Programming, two people close to the project said, could be “middle of the road” and aimed at Walmart’s core shoppers away from the coasts. “They’re catering to that Americana base,” one person told the WSJ.

The report is the second, more detailed, report on Walmart’s plans this month. The website Information reported some weeks back that Walmart was considering launching a subscription streaming video service.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.



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